Toronto’s West Chinatown in the summer on a Saturday afternoon is always bustling with tourists and patrons. As you walk through the streets Chinese music is blaring from the stores while the scent of Peking duck intoxicates the air. You encounter people shopping on the streets who are sifting through the boxes of vegetables and fruits. You walk a little further and realize that all those things have stopped and you are no longer in Chinatown. I remember when I first moved to Canada Toronto’s Chinatown was very distinct, you knew when you were in it and you knew when you were out of it. Since then, I’ve always thought of Chinatown as being a lively place and on Saturday July 16th 2012, I co-hosted a walk through Chinatown with Toronto Historian Valerie Mah. It was a great day of learning and experience the rich history of what is now West Chinatown.
Text and images by Morris Lum
Morris Lum: New Cultural Topographics is on view at the Art Gallery of Mississauga until July 8.